We are always looking for a way to cook black eyed peas for New Year's Day. I never mind, they are one of my favorite things.
This stew is modified very heavily from a starting recipe from the fantastic Lebanese cookbook Food for the Vegetarian: Traditional Lebanese Recipes.
Everybody into vegetarian cooking should snag a copy of this cookbook. The recipes need some "toning down" from time to time to suit our western tastes, but it serves as a fantastic jumping off point for new flavors and ideas, it's one of our favorites. (Then when you get it, you can cook the original version of this, which is quite different, titled: "Black Eyed Peas in Olive Oil.")
Black Eyed Pea Stew.
In a soup pot, heat up 2 T olive oil over medium high heat, and then add:
1 Medium onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flake
2 or 3 cloves of minced garlic
2 teaspoons Fresh Thyme
Cook this until the onion begins to brown around the edges
1/2 teaspoon allspice
a pinch of salt
Then add 1/4 to 1/3 cup Laphroaig Scotch whiskey, (10 year old is fine.) This of course, is NOT part of the traditional Lebanese recipe,
Let the whiskey deglaze the pan and cook for five minutes or so, and then stir in:
2 diced tomatoes
4 T tomato paste (Or 2 T Italian Double Concentrated Tomato Paste)
2 Cans of black eyed peas, drained
4 Cups of stock or water
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes on low, until thickened up.
Finish with more chopped Parsley, the juice of half a lemon, salt to taste, and another generous pinch of allspice.
Serve over Basmati Rice with some cornbread and greens.